Marseille and San Francisco, Jan. 8 — After a busy and productive 2017, Unistellar is back at CES in Las Vegas to receive the 2018 Innovation Award for its eVscope, a compact, connected, and incredibly powerful consumer telescope that raised an astonishing $2.2 million in a November 2017 Kickstarter campaign.
Unistellar, a startup that’s committed to restoring the joy of night-sky viewing to people all over the globe, is off to a strong start thanks to the massive success of this campaign, which gave supporters an opportunity to order an eVscope. Supporters eagerly took advantage of the chance to reserve their own revolutionary, electronics-based telescope that offers unprecedented views of distant objects in the night sky. The eVscope also allows users to make significant contributions to science by joining observation campaigns led by prominent astronomers.
“After three years of prototype development, building, and testing, we’re proud to bring our compact, intelligent, powerful telescope to market,” said Arnaud Malvache, President and CTO of Unistellar. “We were also pleased to demonstrate our prototype at several star parties in Europe and the United States, and these efforts paid off beyond our wildest expectations.”
When the Kickstarter campaign ended on November 23, Unistellar had not only raised $2.2 million, the most money ever raised by a space exploration project on Kickstarter, but also taken pledges for 1,646 eVscopes and gathered support from 2,144 people all over the world.
“We’re delighted by the eVscope’s ability to attract newbies and skilled amateur astronomers,” said Franck Marchis, Chief Scientific Officer at Unistellar and Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute. “Their interest is crucial to the success of the key citizen-science component of our project, which aims to create a network of several thousand telescopes able to monitor the sky 24/7 from almost anywhere on the globe.”
This citizen-science network will be managed by the SETI Institute, and give telescope owners the opportunity to contribute to cutting-edge science by receiving alerts when special events like super-novae, asteroid flybys, or comet outbursts are occurring and can be observed on their devices.
In addition to the prestigious Innovation Award, CES also gives Unistellar the opportunity to show attendees the design of the revolutionary eVscope™, which can be carried around and stored easily. “We created this compact, autonomous, easy-to-use telescope for all of us, including urban astronomers who have long been denied easy access to the wonders of the night sky,” said Laurent Marfisi, Unistellar CEO. “The eVscope will revive the sense of awe and wonder that the sky has engendered in humans since our species first appeared on Earth.”
The intense interest the eVscope generated among novice and professional astronomers was a driving force behind CES’ decision to confer the 2018 Innovation Award on the device. “Tech for a Better World,” the category in which Unistellar won, highlights products that share a common goal or the ability to affect the world in a positive way and create a positive societal and/or global impact.
Finally for those who missed the Kickstarter campaign, Unistellar announced the opening of pre-sales of its eVscope in spring 2018 with a shipping in spring 2019.
- Unistellar Kickstarter campaign
- List of CES 2018 Innovation Awards
- List of Space Exploration projects most funded on Kickstarter
- Unistellar Web Site
- Watch Hardware Studio Live at CES 2018
Unistellar is reinventing popular astronomy through the development of the Enhanced Vision Telescope™: a smart combination of optics, electronics, and proprietary image-processing technology that aims to make astronomy interactive. Unistellar is completely dedicated to its popular ambition, but its technology has already garnered attention for other applications from established institutions for like the ONERA (the French aerospace agency) and companies focused on Imaging. http://unistellaroptics.com/
About the SETI Institute
Founded in 1984, the SETI Institute is a non-profit, multi-disciplinary research and education organization whose mission is to explore, understand, and explain the origin and nature of life in the universe and the evolution of intelligence. Our research encompasses the physical and biological sciences and leverages expertise in data analytics, machine learning and advanced signal detection technologies. The SETI Institute is a distinguished research partner for industry, academia and government agencies, including NASA and NSF.